Quick to react to pople power

Set in a peninsula location on the world-famous Causeway coast in Northern Ireland, Adelphi Portrush is the result of a demanding conversion of a traditional seaside guesthouse to a luxury spa hotel. In addition to comfort and visual appeal, owner Mark Holmes also demanded exceptional energy efficiency of the refurbished and extended building, to which end he specified the latest heat recovery ventilation technology, super insulation and a Unico heating and cooling system which was installed by Chilltec Refrigeration of Ballymena.

The Unico system serves the rooms in the hotel which present the greatest temperature control challenges, where heating or cooling demand could fluctuate the most. In a superinsulated building this is almost entirely determined by the occupancy level. Mark Holmes comments: “The human body generates considerable heat, occupancy levels can change by the hour, people can be considered mobile radiators so rapid reaction heating or cooling is something a hotel designer needs to bear in mind, especially for areas where groups of people gather.”

At the Adelphi, Unico stabilises temperature at the appropriate level in the spacious dining room, conference room, lounge and bridal suite, as well as some of the top floor bedrooms where weather exposure can result in wider fluctuations. As Mr Holmes points out, a rugged peninsula in the North Atlantic can often seem to have all four seasons in one day.

The ability to respond quickly and efficiently to temperature changes even in these challenging spaces was key to the selection of Unico for the hotel. Mr Holmes explains: “Before the conference room starts to fill up, the temperature may need to be raised, but once people arrive and the heat builds the requirement can rapidly swing towards cooling and ventilation.” Unico’s high-velocity mini-duct air aspiration system provides comfort in these areas, as well as contributing to an impressively small ‘carbon footprint’ for the hotel.

With its unobtrusive outlet ducts just a few inches wide, the Unico system has blended into the interior design and is also proving flexible in operation. Because the air handler modules are serviced by both an oil-fuelled boiler and electric reversible heat pumps, which also provide air conditioning, the hotel is able to choose its preferred - or cheapest - energy source for heating and energy-efficient cooling. Currently with oil prices so high, all ten Unico units are running purely on the electric heat pumps. Further details can be found on the Adelphi website www.adelphiportrush.com

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